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  1. #11
    :) INFtha14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoryToTell View Post
    I can relate. Especially to the showing physical affection part. Maybe it's a 5 thing but when I had no experience with it I'd analyze the possible situations and methods to be used when cuddling/holding hands/what have you. I never wanted to ask though, and hated admitting to feeling so confused.
    I also think INFPs are definitely capable of neutrality.
    Totally i almost feel like they'd look down on me for asking how to do something heh. Past relationships i've tried to figure out in my head what the expections were and if it was like there going to be expecting a hug.

    Internally i'd think " well if it's important to them to have that physical and I do appreciate it too just that it's awkward but i'll just open my arms and wrap them around them." As if I was preparing myself mentally for a hug but it's simply cause it's a tad strange to me to hug, cuddle and be all affectionate.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Yep, I relate to all of it. I'm often accused of being aloof or snobby when I am just being quiet and neutral. My lost-in-thought face apparently looks very unfriendly...

    I used to dislike hugging when I was younger, and I only like it now at my discretion or from very close friends/family. My ESFJ grandma has called me "cold" (and worse things). My mom complains I am not a very affectionate person, never call when I lived in a different city, and generally did not appear to miss people. They are much more demonstrative than I am, and they assume that if feeling is not shown, then it is not there.

    I do care a lot about people, but I have trouble expressing it. It often feels awkward & forced, and I hate anything "contrived". I get lost in my own little world so easily I can forget to express what I do feel.

    When it comes to physical affection, I am just as awkward, although I've gotten better with age. Ultimately, I'm a much more cerebral person than a physical one, but I do have a desire for physical touch. I just have to feel really safe & close to someone to initiate it & not feel strange.
    Is it normal for an INFP to feel weird or out of character when they are having to make compliments or try to show a more verbal affection such as
    "your so sweet" or when they ask why I like them which puting it into words makes me feel really awkward and a tad bit uncomfortable as it's just like with hugging. It's having to show affection which makes me feel really awkward.

    This may sound strange... but for quite a while I had the hardest time
    saying " I love you" to even people that i've known for years *BFFs*.
    Close Family's fine but Friends it was really awkward heh.

    Definitely OrangeApplied I've always felt more cerebral in dealing with
    physical/verbal affection. Heck yeah, I get lost to much in my inner thoughts and wonderings that have been the bane of my relationships of totally not even expressing the feeling I would be feeling. Cause I can surprisingly be nurturing I just don't like it to be forced because of expectation or manipulation.

    Baby's and animals always bring out my more sentimental and quietly affectionate ways. I'll cuddle with them and everything *more cats but little babehs are easy to cuddle with too.*


    Quote Originally Posted by runvardh View Post
    It's why I'm often called cold or mean - even when I put extra effort in. Because of this I only let in the ones who can see past it or take my word for it.
    Totally understanding goes a long way. I love when I can find others who can accept my rather neutral and calm ways. Also I'm really not emotionally reactive unless a value is struck at and can seem almost like I don't give a hoot or things don't affect me.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Ugh, my family does this to me all the time. I am an adult, not a child - what a way to humiliate me. They say stuff like, "say hi to so-and-so" and "give them a hug" as if I am 12.... :steam:
    This would drive me nuts. My mom *very possible ESFJ sometimes will say similar things like how I should've said hi or aww well your going to hurt there feelings leaving them behind like that. She maybe half joking but I hate the idea of social ties keeping me in one place just cause of how it may make others feel. Maybe it bothers me so much cause of the fact I don't like hurting others I just don't like it to influence my decisions more.

    She's an extravert heh but a middle aged one who balanced herself out a tad*

    Quote Originally Posted by Eckhart View Post
    I also relate to 100% to it. I really wished I would be more able to show people that I like them. Physical affection like hugs and so on are difficult for me too. I never initiate such things, and when I get hugged, I feel very awkward and probably stand there like a tree. Although in my inner I often would like to do the hug, but I just "don't know how to do it" as you said, or am not safe if it is adequate in that situation.

    Also having the same feeling that people seem to see that "neutralness" as aloofness or arrogance. Very few seem to understand me here.
    Amen to that Eckhard. I think this is why the idea of deep intimate relationships make me so nervous cause from what i've seen it seems physical contact is usually the norm and if not received may be perceived like i don't care or to not see potential for love in the person.

    I am a very slow mover in relationships, I don't like cuddling too fast too soon. I can do it but I'll feel tremendous pressure to hurry an internal examination of how I feel about the physical touch/cuddling/stuff like that.

    It seems just as I internally start to feel okay with with everything internally which is not an overnight process. Alot of evaluation/reflection has to happen of how I feel? is this heady in the right direction? Would I be comfortable cuddling? So on and so on.

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    I hope I'm not butting in too much, but it's strange... I keep testing as (or often close) to a socionics INFp (difference with mbti is Fe instead of Fi), can relate to some of the descriptions, and in turn, can't relate to much written here.

    I think I'm reserved in initiating many things (some introversion/feeling out the environment...which can seem aloof at first), tend to sit off on the sides, but..I don't think I'm this standoffish or lost in thought (no offense). It's especially nice if some attention/hugging comes my way first. Out of all the things to shy away from, touching/physical affection is not one of them. And if already know people well, it's automatic that I hug female friends goodbye, and don't leave guys hanging without a slap in the hand or something.

    Again, my only point is how different socionics is.. very confusing. It makes me all the more puzzled on what I am in mbti.
    Socionics I tried to figure out but I eventually was like ahh forget it LOL.

    Liking the responses , thanks everybody.
    What is Feeling?
    Feeling is primarily a process.....that imparts to the content a definite value in the sense of acceptance or rejection. In the same way that thinking organizes the contents of consciousness under concepts, feeling arranges them according to their value. Feeling, like thinking, is a rational function, since values in general are assigned according to the laws of reason...
    (Carl Jung, Psychological Types, Chapter XI - Definitions)

  2. #12
    Reptilian Snuggletron's Avatar
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    Yes, it is difficult. I Don't smile a lot or show affection very well. Not in the cool ISTP way, but in that 'derp how do I human?' way. So Ronery.

    I used to hate that "hug them!" "say hi to so and so!" "don't sit in the car and sleep at the BBQ while the other kids laugh and play together while calling you strange behind your back" stuff as a kid, too. Felt reallly forced and wrong.

  3. #13
    Senior Member surgery's Avatar
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    Rarely, if ever, have I been described as "cold." Rather, people just say I am "quiet." Physical displays don't come naturally to me. In general, staying in touch and deepening a relationship is not my first priority. Thus, the closer my relationship with some is, or the deeper I feel about someone, the harder it is to display affection.

    I tend not to call, or I avoid asking things of my family.
    Around close friends, I feel compelled to be entertaining. This is draining, so I often just avoid them.
    Memories are often enough to sustain my feelings of closeness.
    Also, all my friends use Introverted Judgement too, so I imagine they feel somewhat similarly

    On the other hand, I hugged a classmate today without second thought. At work, I tend to smile and act cheerfully towards customers at work, although its not required. Perhaps, this is just a result of having had a few summer jobs in retail. Also, I consciously tried to make the my partners for a group presentation laugh while in class today. Albeit, I know I still come off as slightly shy or even awkward.

    I guess it has something to do with knowing that, with the former group of people, the love is less conditional, while with the latter, I need to earn their approval.
    The former relationships tend to feel like a distraction from energy focused towards understanding or actualizing myself in relationship to my peers.

  4. #14
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    OK, let me ask this... are you guys not a little unsettled by the idea that you, more or less, are idealists, yet you're speaking in terms of how the people and world around you drain you? That isn't to say I don't understand this.. but I think somewhere along the way I've guilted myself in thinking there's something wrong about it. It was an INFp who said "Be the change you want to see in the world." One can not find actualization without making some real steps yourself with people.

    And I don't mean to dramatize something as simple as "hugs". Heh.. it's larger than that. I mean, umm.. you know I don't even know what I really want to say here. There's just something nice about at that quote above (it was Gandhi btw [edit] Perhaps he was infj though).

    And again, like i said, i just feel guilty. not to say i follow this all the time. :\

  5. #15
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
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    ^ "Be the change you want to see in the world."

    We like, nay, demand absolute sincerity. We don't follow certain social norms if they are not deeply sincere. I only hug people I love, at odd moments when I want to express affection, the same way with 'I love you'. It must be natural and not forced. Usually, they do something that demonstrated their love for me and I respond with a verbal sentiment.

    Yes, we are idealists and that means we can't 'love' everyone. People are extremely flawed. Haha. What I want is just for people to stop killing each other, but there's no need to just hug everyone. Eek. My mom told me to hug my grandparents when we visited China, said that Americans all hug, and I was like uhm, but I...don't...know them...but I...uhm...awkward.

    Yep, I relate to all of it. I'm often accused of being aloof or snobby when I am just being quiet and neutral. My lost-in-thought face apparently looks very unfriendly...
    Yes!!! Perhaps our relaxed face is still in defensive mode. I can relate to the NTs in this regard. Actually, the NT and ST I was with initiated most physical contacts/affections. Yup, isn't that a turn-around.

  6. #16
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    but despite all of this doubt, i've come to the conclusion that hugs are good.
    I definitely think that hugs are good. I think we're discussing how comfortable we are in initiating these forms of affection. Considering many INFPs report feel "warm" internally, why is there this awkwardness in expressing it?

    Ideally, I think most of us would like to be comfortable in expressing emotion, but I suspect that the accepted forms do not always suit our feeling. The issue comes down to how natural & genuine the expression feels; does it accurately convey the feeling? Or is it forced & out of obligation? Cheese, gooey expressions make me uncomfortable for the very reason that they feel a bit "fake".

    Then there's an issue of vulnerability - it can leave you "exposed" to express how you feel; what if the feeling is not returned? The deeper the feeling, the harder it may be to express because of this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duchessoftheshadows View Post
    Is it normal for an INFP to feel weird or out of character when they are having to make compliments or try to show a more verbal affection such as
    "your so sweet" or when they ask why I like them which puting it into words makes me feel really awkward and a tad bit uncomfortable as it's just like with hugging. It's having to show affection which makes me feel really awkward.

    This may sound strange... but for quite a while I had the hardest time
    saying " I love you" to even people that i've known for years
    *BFFs*.
    Close Family's fine but Friends it was really awkward heh.

    Definitely OrangeApplied I've always felt more cerebral in dealing with
    physical/verbal affection. Heck yeah, I get lost to much in my inner thoughts and wonderings that have been the bane of my relationships of totally not even expressing the feeling I would be feeling. Cause I can surprisingly be nurturing I just don't like it to be forced because of expectation or manipulation.

    Baby's and animals always bring out my more sentimental and quietly affectionate ways. I'll cuddle with them and everything *more cats but little babehs are easy to cuddle with too.*

    Amen to that Eckhard. I think this is why the idea of deep intimate relationships make me so nervous cause from what i've seen it seems physical contact is usually the norm and if not received may be perceived like i don't care or to not see potential for love in the person.

    I am a very slow mover in relationships, I don't like cuddling too fast too soon. I can do it but I'll feel tremendous pressure to hurry an internal examination of how I feel about the physical touch/cuddling/stuff like that.

    It seems just as I internally start to feel okay with with everything internally which is not an overnight process. Alot of evaluation/reflection has to happen of how I feel? is this heady in the right direction? Would I be comfortable cuddling? So on and so on.
    Yes, I can relate to this also. I don't think it's unusual for an INFP to experience these feelings.

    Quote Originally Posted by briar View Post
    Rarely, if ever, have I been described as "cold." Rather, people just say I am "quiet." Physical displays don't come naturally to me. In general, staying in touch and deepening a relationship is not my first priority. Thus, the closer my relationship with some is, or the deeper I feel about someone, the harder it is to display affection.

    I tend not to call, or I avoid asking things of my family.
    Around close friends, I feel compelled to be entertaining. This is draining, so I often just avoid them.
    Memories are often enough to sustain my feelings of closeness.
    Also, all my friends use Introverted Judgement too, so I imagine they feel somewhat similarly

    On the other hand, I hugged a classmate today without second thought. At work, I tend to smile and act cheerfully towards customers at work, although its not required. Perhaps, this is just a result of having had a few summer jobs in retail. Also, I consciously tried to make the my partners for a group presentation laugh while in class today. Albeit, I know I still come off as slightly shy or even awkward.

    I guess it has something to do with knowing that, with the former group of people, the love is less conditional, while with the latter, I need to earn their approval.
    The former relationships tend to feel like a distraction from energy focused towards understanding or actualizing myself in relationship to my peers.
    In certain situations I have not been seen as cold or aloof, but merely shy or quiet. These are situations in which affection and warmth are not as expected. I too worked in retail and made an effort to be nice to customers, mainly because I don't like shopping where the employees are rude. Most of the regulars seemed to like me, even if I was still regarded as extremely quiet by my co-workers. I've never been much concerned about "approval" though, honestly.

    I've also spontaneously hugged people I was not family or very close friends with. If it's genuine feeling in a moment, then it may come effortlessly from me, but those moments are much less typical than ones where I feel almost immobilized to express what I am feeling, or I am just totally oblivious. I think you hit on a point where expressing more shallow feelings with strangers can be almost easier in some ways.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  7. #17
    :) INFtha14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I definitely think that hugs are good. I think we're discussing how comfortable we are in initiating these forms of affection. Considering many INFPs report feel "warm" internally, why is there this awkwardness in expressing it?

    Ideally, I think most of us would like to be comfortable in expressing emotion, but I suspect that the accepted forms do not always suit our feeling. The issue comes down to how natural & genuine the expression feels; does it accurately convey the feeling? Or is it forced & out of obligation? Cheese, gooey expressions make me uncomfortable for the very reason that they feel a bit "fake".

    Then there's an issue of vulnerability - it can leave you "exposed" to express how you feel; what if the feeling is not returned? The deeper the feeling, the harder it may be to express because of this.

    Yes, I can relate to this also. I don't think it's unusual for an INFP to experience these feelings.

    I've also spontaneously hugged people I was not family or very close friends with. If it's genuine feeling in a moment, then it may come effortlessly from me, but those moments are much less typical than ones where I feel almost immobilized to express what I am feeling, or I am just totally oblivious. I think you hit on a point where expressing more shallow feelings with strangers can be almost easier in some ways.
    Definitely 100% agree about the deeper the feeling the harder it may be to express. Hit the nail on the head OrangeAppled . That may be something some might not understand why we seem so distant/aloof. Maybe were just confused or literally don't know how to express such a feeling. Exposure is one of those things that definitely would make more hesitent about expression as well.

    Oh yeah it definitely is easier to express the more shallow with people not to close as they haven't gotten into our internal world yet so most likely haven't violated anything near and dear perhaps? I do notice this in myself as well.

    The gooey fake expressions whenever I see those it's like my stomach churns a tad. Obligated expression of emotion is a no go for me , if I express that emotion in meeting people I'm genuinly feeling glad to see them and genuinly enjoying myself.

    I actually find as a "feeler" I mean what I say or do. Don't read into it more then what it's there. Like if I'm spending time with a specific person whether casual or potential that could lead elsewhere obviously I like ya, I wouldn't spend time with someone I didn't like believe me.

    I want to add a tidbit on being INFP and my dislike of mind games etc. I
    am hugely against mind games as the way I've been raised it's been mind games city. I don't appreciate it and it always has felt like trickery and deception. I can't believe some of the bull I've seen my ESFJ mother and ISFJ sister put up with. It almost seems like a bed of lies that everything has been based on. I firmly believe in not sweeping stuff under the rug just to keep the peace, I can see how this has made them uneasy but if they don't like it. Please do us both a favor don't include me cause I won't play the script. I won't enable it if it seems totally ludacris in my eyes.

    At times I feel like sometimes i'm looked down upon from how my ISFJ sister treats me. But I just have my beliefs. Like my sister will address my mother not me. She'll be showing pictures and only having it so my mother can see not me. Hey that's alright... just shows how little respect that was had for me in the first place. Can't use me for your not so wise decisions so now I get the treatment :O. I'll survive. Anywho...

    Like I don't get Fe, it's totally foreign to me. I don't work that way, I actually resist it when a feeling is just not flowing with it's demands. Been known to get pretty upset if someone tries to make me conform when I feel or see things otherwise.

    May of rambled a tad but I think it's related along the lines heh. Demonstrating Fi-Ne was really my purpose also .
    What is Feeling?
    Feeling is primarily a process.....that imparts to the content a definite value in the sense of acceptance or rejection. In the same way that thinking organizes the contents of consciousness under concepts, feeling arranges them according to their value. Feeling, like thinking, is a rational function, since values in general are assigned according to the laws of reason...
    (Carl Jung, Psychological Types, Chapter XI - Definitions)

  8. #18
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    There's a lot of this I don't relate to, and I am not saying it to be contrary but just to prevent over-generalization.

    Sure, I am sometimes reserved but I have really grown a great deal in this area. I don't want to elaborate specifically, but you can learn skills and balance the traits that prevent you from attaining the connections you seek, and can still stay true to yourself too.

    It's up to you what you value most. All your life you will grow and enhance your confidence with demonstrativeness over time.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

  9. #19
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    There's a lot of this I don't relate to, and I am not saying it to be contrary but just to prevent over-generalization.

    Sure, I am sometimes reserved but I have really grown a great deal in this area. I don't want to elaborate specifically, but you can learn skills and balance the traits that prevent you from attaining the connections you seek, and can still stay true to yourself too.

    It's up to you what you value most. All your life you will grow and enhance your confidence with demonstrativeness over time.
    The thing is, I don't think it's always a flaw or a barrier. It's just a different way of being. I don't need to act more like an ESFJ to be healthy.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  10. #20
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebe View Post
    ^ "Be the change you want to see in the world."

    We like, nay, demand absolute sincerity. We don't follow certain social norms if they are not deeply sincere.
    haha... i understand, believe me. i wouldn't encourage, like, fake "chumminess" or something.

    anyways, i feel like the gandhi quote is a bit too dramatic, cuz i was thinking more small scale, like "baby steps" in expressing affection. it was seeming like some of you were holding back even in cases where you didn't want to (with people you love). where you have intense sincerity inside, and yet, feel stilted and awkward about expressing it. in your case, it seems like you're fine. it's a tragedy if we can't do this though..because people need our sincerity just as much as the other way around. and if they point it out themselves, it might be a good idea to re-think how we appear.

    also, hopefully that quote didn't come off too "preachy".. i'm preachy as much to myself as anyone else here fwiw.

    [edit] i'm gonna add that while i think i've improved at this (Fe), i struggle with displaying friendship with some colder guy friends (who don't need hugs), but like, want me to help them paint their house..or some other form of free labor. heh. i know i'm not looked upon well if i don't help.

    also, just about all of my immediate family is more like this (my mom is definitely not an esfj..)

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